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Activists Plan Rally for Fracking Ban at Capitol

Anti-fracking groups say Florida's aquifer and the soluble limestone foundation make the state even more vulnerable to damage from fracking. (Pixabay)
Anti-fracking groups say Florida's aquifer and the soluble limestone foundation make the state even more vulnerable to damage from fracking. (Pixabay)
January 30, 2018

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – A bipartisan group of lawmakers and conservation advocates is expected to host more than 200 anti-fracking activists during a rally at the Capitol calling for a fracking ban, conservation funding and more.

House Bill 237 by Rep. Kathleen Peters, R-Treasure Island, would ban hydraulic fracturing, the practice of drilling into the earth and injecting a high-pressure water mixture of chemicals that would release prized fossil fuels to the surface for collection. However, the bill – along with its Senate companion – have been kept submerged.

"The 'ban fracking' bills have been assigned to committees, and they've yet to be heard," says Jennifer Rubiello, state director of the group Environment Florida. "That's why we're calling on Speaker (Richard) Corcoran (R-Lutz) to let the bills be heard in the House."

Rubiello says they will also be calling on Sen. Rob Bradley, R-Fleming Island, to allow the bill to be heard in his committee. Some Republican lawmakers say an outright ban would be "foolish" without a scientific study.

Rubiello says research already shows that fracking is bad for the environment.

"Fracking uses massive amounts of fresh water and it's also linked to seismic activity and declining property values in other states," she explains. "Now, we don't want any of that here in Florida. Most Floridians love and appreciate the wonderful drinking-water resources that we have."

The more than 200 anti-fracking and land-conservation advocates from across the state are expected to wave colorful signs and banners at the rally on the steps of the Capitol at Waller Park starting at 10:30 A.M. Wednesday.

The group will also call on lawmakers to adequately fund the state's land conservation program, called Florida Forever.

Trimmel Gomes, Public News Service - FL